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Father of boy found dead at Dingli Cliffs wants court expert investigated

The boy's body was returned to family with most organs missing

Mike Mansholt, found dead at 17.

Mike Mansholt, found dead at 17.

The father of a German teenager found dead at the foot of Dingli Cliffs in July last year has asked the Police Commissioner to investigate a court expert who failed to explain why his son’s body was returned to his family with most organs missing.

Bernd Alexander Mansholt, 53, says that the explanations given to him by the Maltese court expert “do not add up”. His questions have remained unanswered, so he is offering a €10,000 reward to whoever provides him with clues that will lead to an explanation of what happened to his son.

He is offering another €10,000 reward to whoever helps him recover his son’s missing backpack, which carried his phone and a GoPro sports camera. Mike Mansholt, a 17-year-old adventurer, arrived on holiday on July 8 and was found dead on July 26, 2016. He had been reported missing four days earlier after failing to return home after his holiday.

He was found without his running shoes a few metres away from his rented bicycle. It was established that the damage to the bicycle was not compatible with a fall from a height. An autopsy concluded that Mr Mansholt had been dead for around a week. The cause of death, however, was never established.

Autopsies carried out in Malta and Germany concluded that he had suffered no broken bones, which excludes the possibility of a fall.

According to a report by the Medical University of Hanover, Mr Mansholt’s body was devoid of the heart, brain, neck organs, lungs, liver, pancreas, adrenal glands, the right kidney, the bladder, the stomach and the small intestine.

The explanation being tendered to our client does not add up

The only organs found inside Mr Mansholt’s body were his left kidney, diaphragm, spleen and large intestine, they said.

In the criminal complaint filed through his lawyers, Veronique Dalli and Dean Hili, Berndt Mansholt told Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar that the explanation from the Maltese court expert had not been corroborated by the findings of the second autopsy.

The medico-legal expert appointed by the Maltese courts, Mario Scerri, told the father that his son’s organs had been attacked by rodents and that the brain had liquefied.

“This is highly unlikely, given the fact that there were no external marks on the corpse corroborating such a statement by the three forensic experts who carried out the second autopsy in Oldenburg,” the father wrote in his complaint.

There was no evidence of rodent bites, except for a bite on the neck and an abrasion on the forearm. Nor was there any evidence that the corpse had been invaded by rodents or animals, he pointed out in comments to the Times of Malta.

“It would appear that false declarations were made and that the organs of his deceased son were stolen from the corpse, perhaps disposed of without the consent of the family, particularly since the explanation being tendered to our client does not add up,” Berndt Mansholt’s lawyers wrote in the complaint.

They said their client had not been given any information by the Maltese authorities.

Read: Teenager’s corpse flown back to Germany but case 'not closed'

Even the autopsy report that he was given was blank, while the case file he obtained through official channels was incomplete, with missing documents and missing photographs of the discovery of the body.

The family want the police to investigate the court expert in terms of an article in the criminal code which deals with anyone who suppresses or in any other manner destroys or alters any circumstantial evidence relating to an offence.

matthew.xuereb@timesofmalta.com

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